Estradiol binds covalently to normal leukocytes during phagocytosis. The binding involves three cell types, neutrophils, eosinophils, and monocytes and at least two reaction mechanisms, one involving the peroxidase of neutrophils and monocytes (myeloperoxidase [MPO]) and possibly the eosinophil peroxidase, and the second involving catalase. Binding is markedly reduced when leukocytes from patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), severe leukocytic glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and familial lipochrome histiocytosis are employed and two populations of neutrophils, one which binds estradiol and one which does not, can be demonstrated in the blood of a CGD carrier. Leukocytes from patients with hereditary MPO deficiency also bind estradiol poorly although the defect is not as severe as in CGD. These findings are discussed in relation to the inactivation of estrogens during infection and the possible role of estrogens in neutrophil function.

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